Mea Culpa: I Put Keith Olbermann on National TV

 

This YouTube video reminded me that I was the person who introduced Keith Olbermann to America.

Keith was a sportscaster at the local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles at the same time I was doing a talk show for that network. I thought Keith was pretty funny on the air, and I suggested we have him come on the show and talk sports. This was the first of several appearances he made on the show, and he always did a nice job.

Keith tended to wear out his welcome at stations and networks, and he bounced around to several places before he found his niche at MSNBC. When he first went on the air there, he was actually quite entertaining. He was wry and amusing, and he looked at the news at a kind of cockeyed angle that I enjoyed.

I’m not sure how he morphed into the bitter-sounding, hate-mongering name-caller he’s become, but I’m sorry he did. I liked the guy, and he was always a good guest. Maybe it’s just show business and trying to find a place in it and building an audience, but I don’t know. We were never friends away from the show, so I can’t even guess what drives him.

I do know that to whatever extent the political well has been poisoned, Keith has dumped more than his share of venom into the water. I’d like to think he knows that and maybe even regrets it. I liked the Keith Olbermann of 1989. This tape reminded me that I miss him.

(h/t Kenneth)

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Members have made 42 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    It’s a cliché to say it, but that’s not going to stop me: All his talent and common sense was stored in his moustache.

    • #1
    • November 10, 2010 at 8:57 am
  2. Profile photo of Kennedy Smith Inactive

    This is why I never shave.

    College roomie (aka, Kim Il Sung) was on that show. Well, he was in the audience, but did take pictures.

    • #2
    • November 10, 2010 at 9:00 am
  3. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive

    Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin?

    Theologians: want to weigh in on this one?

    • #3
    • November 10, 2010 at 9:04 am
  4. Profile photo of Good Berean Member

    I think we can forgive you, Pat. As long as you bore no malice, that is.

    As to Keith and his “evolution”, although there is truth the statement that bad company corrupts good morals, I have found that as people age and become more self assured they tend to project more of their true selves. In other words, he is just revealing his inner jerk.

    • #4
    • November 10, 2010 at 9:12 am
  5. Profile photo of Good Berean Member
    Kenneth: Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin?

    Theologians: want to weigh in on this one? · Nov 10 at 8:04am

    There is no unforgivable sin. However, forgiveness is conditional. The conditions for forgiveness are true repentance and restitution. So Pat, assuming that you are repentant, what are you going to do for restitution?

    • #5
    • November 10, 2010 at 9:17 am
  6. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    You had a talk show?

    • #6
    • November 10, 2010 at 9:25 am
  7. Profile photo of Dave Roy Inactive

    Back when Olbermann and Dan Patrick were on ESPN, I loved him (and Dan too). They had a way of giving us the sports highlights that I really enjoyed. Whether it was wit, sarcasm, or just some of the mannerisms that they had.

    I was so disappointed when I saw what he became.

    Thankfully, when he was on Sunday Night Football, it was mostly politics-free (other than the politics of NBC, anyway). But his presence was just such a turn-off, bleeding over from his MSNBC role, that I couldn’t watch him.

    • #7
    • November 10, 2010 at 9:26 am
  8. Profile photo of Michael Tee Inactive

    From downtown….BANG!

    That’s the Olbermann I miss.

    • #8
    • November 10, 2010 at 10:07 am
  9. Profile photo of Whiskey Sam Inactive
    David Roy: Back when Olbermann and Dan Patrick were on ESPN, I loved him (and Dan too). They had a way of giving us the sports highlights that I really enjoyed. Whether it was wit, sarcasm, or just some of the mannerisms that they had.

    I was so disappointed when I saw what he became.

    Thankfully, when he was on Sunday Night Football, it was mostly politics-free (other than the politics of NBC, anyway). But his presence was just such a turn-off, bleeding over from his MSNBC role, that I couldn’t watch him. · Nov 10 at 8:26am

    Exactly the way I feel. The Olbermann-Patrick Sunday night Sportscenter was must-see TV in my household. Very disappointing to see the guy with a great sense of humor about sports turn into a shrill demagogue on politics.

    • #9
    • November 10, 2010 at 10:08 am
  10. Profile photo of Squishy Blue RINO Inactive

    I vaugely remember that guy, the Groucho eyebrows and sarcasm really stood out back then. I simply will not watch him now, I cannot abide the intensity of his invective.

    What little I have seen of him recently (in clips on posted NRO) makes me worry about his mental health. What color mood dot indicates you’re fixin’ to shoot up a Denny’s?

    If it’s an act then it has an Andy Kaufman-like vibe to it, and Andy was not a model of healthy role playing.

    No Mea Culpa needed, you gave a promising young man a shot, who knew he would turn out so mean?

    • #10
    • November 10, 2010 at 10:13 am
  11. Profile photo of Carsten Stroud Inactive

    Setting aside the Olbermann Enigma for a moment – we may have to wait for the psych report to get an answer – I am always surprised and delighted to hear a decent man say decent and generous things, although, lately, when it’s Pat Sajak speaking on Ricochet, it’s more or less simply what I have come to expect.

    Thanks for being a decent man, Pat.

    Carsten Stroud

    • #11
    • November 10, 2010 at 10:41 am
  12. Profile photo of David Cavanaugh Inactive
    Aaron Miller: You had a talk show? · Nov 10 at 8:25am

    And someone thought it be worth it to record it. . .

    • #12
    • November 10, 2010 at 11:11 am
  13. Profile photo of Karen Member

    It was worth watching just to catch a glimpse of Dan Miller. Journalism could use more folks like him. A truly decent man. He never got the recognition he deserved and left us too soon. I wonder if Olbermann knew how out-classed he was on that set.

    • #13
    • November 10, 2010 at 11:39 am
  14. Profile photo of River Inactive

    Very true, Pat, Olbermann can be funny, and he has good presence; the camera likes him. His sports reporting – from what I saw on Sunday Night Football – is also very good and even witty at times. He saddens me, though, because he’s very intelligent. It’s his judgment that’s so distorted and twisted.

    Someday – I trust – we’ll have an answer for this most baffling and ironic conundrum, this plague on our age.

    • #14
    • November 11, 2010 at 2:05 am
  15. Profile photo of Pat Sajak Contributor
    Pat Sajak Post author
    Carsten Stroud: Setting aside the Olbermann Enigma for a moment – we may have to wait for the psych report to get an answer – I am always surprised and delighted to hear a decent man say decent and generous things, although, lately, when it’s Pat Sajak speaking on Ricochet, it’s more or less simply what I have come to expect.

    Thanks for being a decent man, Pat.

    Carsten Stroud · Nov 10 at 9:41am

    One of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received, Carsten. Thanks.

    • #16
    • November 11, 2010 at 2:19 am
  16. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    Olbermann on ESPN’s highlights:

    “That was a 5-4-3 double play if you’re scoring at home….. or alone.”

    Yeah, David, that “green week” really grated Me. That was so asinine. They told Me to “save” energy by turning off electricity, so I started by turning off NBC.

    • #17
    • November 11, 2010 at 2:31 am
  17. Profile photo of Diane Ellis Contributor

    Kenneth: Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin?

    Theologians: want to weigh in on this one? · Nov 10 at 8:04am

    Kenneth, your comment made it into this NY Daily News article.

    • #18
    • November 11, 2010 at 5:52 am
  18. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    Kenneth: Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin?

    Theologians: want to weigh in on this one? · Nov 10 at 8:04am

    Kenneth, your comment made it into this NY Daily News article. · Nov 10 at 4:52pm

    Incredible.

    • #19
    • November 11, 2010 at 6:38 am
  19. Profile photo of MBF Member
    MBF

    Michael Pate: A bit of promotion for Ricochet: Pat Sajak ‘Mea Culpa’: ‘I was the person who introduced Keith Olbermann to America’

    The best part about a random internet site like that (random to me, anyways), is the comments section.

    Some guy called Off2SeeTheLizard left this gem:

    “Sajack is a bitter, right-wing apologist who is livid that his only claim to fame is a stupid game show.”

    So, Pat, did this guy nail you, or what?

    • #20
    • November 11, 2010 at 6:39 am
  20. Profile photo of Denise Moss Contributor

    Pat, I’ll forgive you if you’ll forgive me for writing some really great anti-conservative jokes for “Murphy Brown.” The entertainment industry makes strange bed-fellows of us all. But more importantly, I was in the audience for one of your shows and for the life of me I don’t know how I got there, or why. Was it possible you had the “Murphy Brown” cast on?

    • #21
    • November 11, 2010 at 8:18 am
  21. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    Pat,

    Its too bad there are no photos of you clinging to guns or the bible that the commenter could have added to your really bitterness.

    • #22
    • November 11, 2010 at 10:05 am
  22. Profile photo of Pat Sajak Contributor
    Pat Sajak Post author
    Denise Moss: Pat, I’ll forgive you if you’ll forgive me for writing some really great anti-conservative jokes for “Murphy Brown.” The entertainment industry makes strange bed-fellows of us all. But more importantly, I was in the audience for one of your shows and for the life of me I don’t know how I got there, or why. Was it possible you had the “Murphy Brown” cast on? · Nov 10 at 7:18pm

    You didn’t dream it, Denise. We did have the cast on one night.

    • #23
    • November 11, 2010 at 11:05 am
  23. Profile photo of Pat Sajak Contributor
    Pat Sajak Post author
    Mark Belling Fan

    Some guy called Off2SeeTheLizard left this gem:

    “Sajack is a bitter, right-wing apologist who is livid that his only claim to fame is a stupid game show.”

    So, Pat, did this guy nail you, or what? · Nov 10 at 5:39pm

    Almost. He (or she) should have said, “really bitter.”

    • #24
    • November 11, 2010 at 11:08 am
  24. Profile photo of Greg Alterton Inactive

    Does Olbermann still have his gig in the pre-game and half-time shows on NBC’s Sunday night football broadcast? The only time I ever watched that panel with Olbermann on it, he was talking about Reggie Bush, and pretended to choke on the name “Bush” as if it was poison. The other morons on the panel laughed as if it was cute and clever. I refuse to watch the pre-game and half-time show because of Olbermann. NBC never understood how toxic that guy was (past tense, because he’s still “suspended” from MSNBC, is he not?).

    • #25
    • November 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm
  25. Profile photo of Dave Roy Inactive

    No, Greg, he’s no longer on the SNF show, so it’s safe to watch again.

    If you can get past any of the other NBC stuff, like “Green Week” and the like.

    • #26
    • November 11, 2010 at 12:52 pm
  26. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member
    Jeremias Heidefelder Since you have the bitterness, I have the gun.

    That sounds like it could be a line from a really wacky song.

    • #27
    • November 12, 2010 at 7:32 am
  27. Profile photo of Songwriter Member

    Pat – Even the Comcast/Xfinity homepage is talking about you.

    http://www.fancast.com/blogs/2010/tv-news/another-day-another-olbermann-feud-and-this-time-its-pat-sajak/?cmpid=FCST_tvnews

    What’s truly enlightening is the quality of the “comments” section that follows the Comcast post. I haven’t heard such pithy zingers since I was in 6th grade.

    Makes me appreciate all the more Ricochet’s “pay to play” policy – and it’s Code of Conduct.

    • #28
    • November 12, 2010 at 7:38 am
  28. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius: Pat,

    Its too bad there are no photos of you clinging to guns or the bible that the commenter could have added to your really bitterness. · Nov 11 at 9:05am

    I think that post came off a tad more bitter and less ironic than I intended.

    • #29
    • November 12, 2010 at 8:03 am
  29. Profile photo of Jeremias Heidefelder Inactive
    Pseudodionysius: Pat,

    Its too bad there are no photos of you clinging to guns or the bible that the commenter could have added to your really bitterness. · Nov 11 at 9:05a

    Since you have the bitterness, I have the gun. I’m sure Berean or Aaron have a Bible Pat could borrow (mine are mostly not in English).

    • #30
    • November 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm
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